As Pochettino starts his PSG reign with a draw, Lionel Messi’s brace spurs Barcelona


Atlético eliminated from Copa del ReyPSG fend off Saint-Étienne, Inter shock Sampdoria, Barça win 3-2 at Bilbao,

With a 3-2 victory at Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona moved up to third place in La Liga. Undefeated in six league games, Ronald Koeman’s side fell behind at San Mamés in the third minute.

Iñaki Williams beat a long ball defender and shot the ball into the net. The debut of New Athletic coach Marcelino got off to a dream start, but Barça replied with a sensational team goal. Has the future successor of Lionel Messi again got him excited about soccer? | Messi played a brilliant pass on the touchline to Frenkie de Jong, and the Dutchman volleyed the ball back into the penalty area for Pedri, 18, to head in.

The visitors took the lead in the 38th minute after a good combination between Messi and Pedri, when the youngster played a one-two with Messi, who finished skilfully. The FC Barcelona captain completed another brilliant move 62 minutes later and had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick.

When he scored for Athletic in the final minute, Iker Muniain set up a tense finale, but Barça held on and are now five points behind Real Madrid and seven behind Atlético, who have two games in hand. Atlético Madrid may be riding high in the league, but they suffered an embarrassing exit from Segunda B in the Copa del Rey against Cornellà.

After just seven minutes, Adrián Jiménez put the hosts ahead, but Atlético was unable to respond and saw right-back Ricard Sánchez shooting off in the middle of the second half. A number of starters were forced to rest, but Diego Simeone still had a good side in the starting eleven with João Félix, Renan Lodi, José Giménez, Saúl Ñíguez, Felipe and Ángel Correa. Felix and Giménez were out after injuries, while Atlético was eliminated in the cup for the second consecutive time against a third division side. In Ligue 1, the tenure of Mauricio Pochettino as coach of Paris Saint-Germain got off to an underwhelming start at Saint-Étienne with a 1-1 draw.

After 19 minutes, Romain Hamouma put Claude Puel’s side ahead, but Moise Kean equalized three minutes later for PSG. PSG is now second ahead of Lille, who endured a shocking 2-1 loss to Angers at home.

The early double of Romain Thomas was sufficient for the visitors to climb up to seventh in the table and give Lyon a three-point lead at the top.

In Rudi Garcia’s side’s 3-2 home victory over Lens, Memphis Depay scored twice. Former France coach Raymond Domenech returned to club management with Nantes, where the Canaries kept Rennes to a goalless draw in the derby, ten years after the Blues were excluded from the 2010 World Cup.

The late solo effort of Dimitri Payet helped Marseille to win Montpellier 3-1, while Monaco defeated Lorient 5-2. Dimitri Payet scores Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 6, 2021
The eight-game winning streak at Internazionale in Serie A ended with a 2-1 defeat at Sampdoria in which Alexis Sánchez missed a penalty. The deciding goal was given by two former Inter players: Antonio Candreva scored from the penalty spot after Emil Audero had previously saved Sánchez. Before halftime, Keita Baldé gave the hosts a 2-0 lead and Stefan de Vrij’s header was a bad consolation in the 65th minute. “It was a strange game,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte afterwards. The defeat of Inter and the later home loss of Milan to Juventus Turin pushed Roma to four points from the top of the table as they beat Crotone at the Stadio Olimpico in the bottom spot.

The star of the match was Spanish striker Borja Mayoral as he scored two fine goals in the first half-hour and then converted a penalty converted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan to give the hosts a 3-1 victory. With home wins, Lazio and Atalanta extended their top-four hopes.

In as many games, Ciro Immobile scored his 15th goal to give Lazio a 2-1 home win over Fiorentina, while Atalanta defeated Parma 3-0. Luis Muriel, Duván Zapata and Robin Gosens’ goals put pressure on coach Fabio Liverani, while Parma fell into the relegation area as Torino picked up a point at Verona’s home. Spezia ended its seven-game losing streak with a stunning victory in Napoli despite Adriatic


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